ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 11 * * All Arts News On the Web * * January 4, 2007


      ArtBits always features a calendar of the goings on of Franklin County artists. Check out these events around Franklin County. Each issue includes the entire text of our weekly newspaper column.

      Stop in for live music and more at the Fairfax Music Sessions at the Foothills Bakery in Fairfax most Saturday afternoons at 1 p.m., at ChowBella or at the Overtime Saloon in St Albans 8-10 p.m. most Wednesday evenings, at the Bayside in St Albans Town most Sunday afternoons, and the Cambridge CoffeeHouses at 7 p.m. on the first and third Wednesday of every month.
     These gatherings bring new opportunities, gossip, "show-and-tell" and occasional workshops. The booked performances and acoustic Open Mike Nights feature music, readings, and more from the best new artists in Vermont.

      Find links to these events and more in our Spotlight!


      2007 will be another busy year in the arts with an Arts and Cultural Center on the horizon plus over 250 concerts, exhibits, recitals, and shows from more than 40 organizations. Happy New Year!

      Volunteers and a permanent base make up the "back room" a Local Arts Service Organizations like the AAC need to offer marketing and technical help, have resources, store stuff, and to host meetings and exhibits, and concerts and workshops for artists, other groups, and local presenters. If you have space to lend for the year, email the All Arts Council .
      AAC will hold exhibits for artists in all media and pays actual cash money for bands and solo performers. If you are one or know one, email the All Arts Council.

      The All Arts Council has one significant long range project: We will join with several other groups and individuals to create an arts and cultural center for this region. The Center will bring the arts (and arts lovers) to Franklin County year round.
      The AAC will celebrate its 22nd year with a focus on four interests this year: building our board of directors, continuing our popular programs, continuing our support of artists and other presenters, and creating partnerships.
      We will work with other organizations to grow the Creative Economy.
      The AAC will maintain two permanent gallery exhibits: the AAC/Opera House Gallery in Enosburg Falls and the Highgate Springs Welcome Center Gallery. We will also have several one-time shows including a new month long exhibit at Union Station in Burlington. Email the All Arts Council if you would like to suggest or host a show.
      The Concerts for Grumpy Grownups series will continue with concerts and CD release celebrations from area artists. The first show of the year will be the VYO Winter Concert later this month.
      Summer Sounds, Franklin County's premiere outdoor concert series, continues with a lineup of bluegrass, classical, country, folk, jazz, pop, opera, and classic rock-n-roll. The concerts always alternate between the Highgate Municipal Park, Taylor Park in St. Albans and St. Albans Bay.
      The Grand Holiday Crafts and Fine Arts Tour of Franklin County will take Christmas shoppers to Enosburg, Fairfield, Franklin, St. Albans, Swanton, and more.

      The Opera House also plans a mix of major productions, touring, and community events. In conjunction with the AAC, they will host exhibits of artwork by Franklin County artists in the downstairs Gallery. Email for more info.

      The AAC helps promote many other Franklin County presenters and individual artists. Our regularly updated online calendar is found at
      Bay Day will celebrate again this year with continuous entertainment and family activities all day plus a Summer Sounds concert and fireworks to cap this July Fourth blowout.
      The Bishop Street Artists grew into a presenter last year. Their St. Luke's Art Show will showcase area artists at St. Luke's Episcopal Church.
      The 2007 Events for Tom series opens with an April Verch concert this month. Organizer Mark Sustic plans about one event per month in a series that supports the Tom Fund to assist families with children with cancer. Call Mark Sustic (802.849.6968) or email for more info.
      Community theater troupes including the Fairfax Community Theater Company need show proposals right now for plays to be produced this year. The FCTC board meets later this month.
      Franklin County Field Days swells Highgate with crafts, exhibits, agricultural exhibits, cattle judging, antique tractor pulls, rides, and more at the Franklin County Airport. This long running event fills a tent, the grounds, and the new stage with popular bands and solo performers from near and far.
      The 15th Annual Jig in the Valley will benefit the East Fairfield Community Center with a family day of music and picnicking on the last weekend in July. This concert helps raise funds and awareness for the NMC regional health center, pre-school, Head Start, Teen, and Senior Citizen programs.
      County-wide, our public libraries have a slew of plans including readings, lunchtime concerts, art shows, and kids performers.
      The eclectic Music at Grace series at Grace Church in Sheldon will offer exceptional performers to Franklin County for several concerts--"something old and something new"--each summer and fall.
      The Northern Vermont Artist Association enters its 77th year of providing venues for aspiring and established visual artists. They hold an annual June Juried show at the Bryan Memorial Gallery. Membership is open to all visual artists who live in the Northern half of Vermont. email Robert Waldo Brunelle for info..
      The St. Albans Artists' Guild will hold a Master Class with Corliss Blakely later this Spring and an opening gala in May. They are seeking members "and angels" now. Call Jay Fleury (802.527.9821) for info.
      The St. Albans Historical Museum will have a lineup of performances, exhibits, and educational programs in the newly accessible third-floor auditorium.
      School art shows will include FNESU's annual Art Gala and the annual FCSU Art Show. The shows bring together hundreds of two and three dimensional pieces in schools and halls around the County.
      The Vermont Dairy Festival will spotlight Franklin County performers in a June benefit weekend for the Lions Club. The festival may reprise the national Country Showdown.
      The Vermont Maple Festival in April is the first major outdoor festival of the year. St. Albans hosts three days of family education and entertainment. The Festival includes a popular talent show, the sold out fiddler's variety show, a large craft show, embraces many other community events, and offers the biggest parade in Vermont.

      The Citizens Concert Band will celebrate its 58th year with outdoor concerts starting in June and alternating on Wednesdays between Swanton, St. Albans, and St. Albans Bay. Call Kevin Loomis (802.868.2684) for info.
      The Enosburg Town Band performs Tuesdays in the Lincoln Park Bandstand, starting in June. Call Alisa Martin (802.933.2062) for info.
      The Fairfax-Fletcher-Westford Band will start rehearsals Thursday nights in late April and will begin playing concerts around Franklin County in June. Cathy Gottschalk will conduct. Call Louise Minor (802.849.6760) for info.


     What better way to start the new year than by plugging the All Arts Council site, yes? The site is large and packed with current and historical info about the arts in Franklin County. It has this article and all ten years of its predecessors, some half million words about the regional arts scene, plus information about the All Arts Council and other arts organizations, annual reports, the AAC book shelf, calendar, and Christmas gifts, help wanted pages, links to area artists and to other interesting artsy sites, member benefits, and even looks back at the ArTrain, FloodStock, and the Palettes of Franklin County, Vermont. There is much, much more.


      ArtBits features a quick weekly peek at the bookshelf or night stand of the folks you know in and around Franklin County. That popular feature has a page of its own at the Franklin County Bookshelf here on the AAC site.


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      This article was originally published in the St Albans Messenger and other traditional print media. It is Copyright © 2007 by Richard B. Harper. All rights reserved. Archival material is provided as-is. Links are not necessarily maintained (if a link in this article fails, try or your favorite search engine).
      Thanks to recent misuse of copyright material on the Internet by individuals and archival firms alike, we emphasize that your rights to this article are limited to viewing it and printing it for personal use only. You must receive explicit permission from the All Arts Council and the author before reprinting or redistributing this article in any medium.